Leticia's joy was uncontrollable. She jingled like bubbles in a wine glass as she went about getting ready to leave with Liam. Today she would take the step to get closer to her brother, Liam had assured her of that. It had been an internal war in herself staying idle and not being able to go out to search for him herself.
How long had it been since her brother had been missing?
It almost did not matter now because they were heading out to find him, they would be going to see another renegade Angels whom Liam had called Sheila. She believed, with full conviction in her heart, that if her brother was with this renegade Angel Sheila, then she was confident of his safety as Liam trusted her whole heartedly.
"How do we know where Sheila will be?" Leticia asked curiously, applying an extravagant amount of asphax on her arms, face, and legs.
Liam fixed his eyes on her as he watched her. "Don't you think you should calm down with the asphax?"
"Huh?" He looked up at him with innocent eyes like she did not know what he was talking about. He pointed to the now half-empty bottle of asphax in her hands and she followed his fingers to the bottle.
"Oh..." She laughed slightly. "I'm just super excited that's all."
"Well, you should calm down. We are going to meet with Sheila, not your brother. We do not know for certain if he was one of the boys she had rescued on that day." He said to her, strapping his sword to his side.
"We are heading out to look for him, it is enough for me to know that I am not just staying safe in one place, protected by an Angel while he could be alone and in danger somewhere else." She corked the bottle and tied that to her waist.
"If he is half as strong as you, then he would definitely be safe." Liam smiled at her, holding her by her shoulder, but as Leticia looked up to him and smiled back he frowned and looked away, sliding his hands away from her shoulder. Where did that come from? He groaned in frustration, right, he was her guardian Angel now.
"Ready?" He asked.
"I am." She replied. "Go get ready."
"What do you mean? I am ready."
She looked at him with raised eyebrows. "You are?"
"Uh-huh.." He nodded positively.
"Don't you ever wear clothes?"
Liam looked at himself. "What do you mean? I am dressed."
"How about a shirt Liam. Are you really going to go bare-chested? Without a shirt?"
"Liam..." She started but was cut off by Liam with a wave of the hand.
"Well then, let us head out now." He spun and headed for the door, stopping her from complaining any further. Leticia sighed lightly and went after him.
The house he called his was not too far from the forest, it was only a walking distance but to Leticia, it was like they were walking forever, she was just too eager to get reunited with her brother once again. She urged Liam to walk on faster as she shared some of the memories she had with her brother with Liam, and constantly asking about the Angel whom Liam had full confidence in.
"Sheila goes to the cold mountains any time she has a human with her." Liam explained to Leticia as they walked. "And that is where we will be heading."
"Why the cold mountains?" She asked.
"Because it is the safest place and the farthest away from the demons."
"Oh..." That was all Leticia could utter. "But you have to cut through the forest to get there. It is not all that safe to me."
"It is. Just after the forest is the river flowing out from the Euphrates. The water repels the demons, and beyond that are the cold mountains."
"It repels them?" This was news. The good news in fact. Liam nodded to her question. "Oh, I have got to have some of that water."
"And she says there is also a shortcut through the mountains to the human's fortress." He bent a little and whispered that part to her.
"It is?!" Leticia was surprised by this information. "She knows how to get to the fortress?!"
"Yes, she does." Liam smiled. "And she is the only one who does."
"I am truly surprised," Leticia stated honestly. "That she knows about that, it kind of makes me wonder how she came to know about that and how much more does she really know?"
"You could ask her that yourself after you meet with her."
"I will." Leticia giggled. "How long does it take to walk through the forest getting there?"
Liam laughed heartily. "We are still far off, relax."
"Can't you just fly us there?" She's questioned.
"Aren't you the one who I afraid of heights?" Liam shot back at her which made her blush out of embarrassment and she looked away, not saying another word.
When they came close to the edge of the forest, they were met by some scavenging demons, eight of them in number. For a brief moment, Leticia was washed over in fear at the sight of the rather huge demons. Liam immediately got into defensive mode when he sensed Leticia's fear and he opened his arms, shielding her behind his body.
"Stay closely behind me," Liam advised but Leticia was already thinking up strategies on how to take down the nearest demon to her, whatever Liam had said did not register into her mind. She probably did not even hear him.
She smiled, partially grateful for the opportunity to exercise her sword and her muscles, it had been quite a long since she had such chances to flex herself and she had not had any practice either. She moved from behind Liam, away from his protective stance, and charged at a demon.
Liam who saw her from the corner of his eyes, reached out to pull her back but she was out of his reach.
"No! Leticia! I said to stay back!"
She swung the sword and slashed through the air at the demon but it was quick to step back and away from the deadly blow. She did not waste any more time and swung the sword again but still, the demon managed to stay away from the edge of the blade. It did not frustrate Leticia at all but more, it energized her. Oh, this one was definitely her match.
Liam watched her for only a little bit before he was distracted by the demon who lunged at him, claws, arms, and fangs extended. Liam was swift, bringing that one down with a heavy blow, his sword went deep into his neck, almost separating his head from the rest of his body. One down, he looked at Leticia who was still battling it out with that one demon, seven more to go, he counted.
Before he stuck down the fifth demon, Leticia had managed to sink her sword into the neck of the first demon. Liam smirked, finally, she had one down, then he focused on the others.
Leticia almost screamed in delight as the demon fell hard, face-first to the ground with her sword still deep in its neck. Another demon lunched at her and she pulled on her sword, ready to slice through this one also but the sword didn't budge. Her eyes widened, the other demon was getting closer, much closer. She pulled again but her sword was in very deep, she saw the demon leap for her and she brought her left arm up, screaming as they both crashed to the ground with the demon on top of her. It bit down on her lower arm hard and Leticia could hear her bones crack, she screamed out in pain.
* * * * *
Dan, still in his Nadri form, was vexed and he really needed to calm down, the one thing that would permanently calm him down was pushing a sword into the weak human heart of his annoying half-brother. Oh, how he hated his half Nadri stepbrother. He had sprinted from the part of the forest where the equally annoying Arch Angel lived and had come here to ease his anger, he needed something to take his anger out on, he needed something that was alive and something that would be a fitting match for him.
A deer raced past, just ahead of him, and disappeared back into the thick forest. Dan groaned and punched a fist into a tree trunk, it cracked and snapped, bending first before tilting sideways, falling loudly on the forest floor. He grinned, that had given him a little bit of relief, how many trees would fall today before he got his release? He did not bother to count but went for the next tree closest to him. As he fisted his palm and made to strike, the smell hit his nose and he frowned deeply, cranked his neck sharply to the right, and taking in a huge breath.
Yes. This was it. It was most definitely it. He breathed in again deeply and grinned devilishly. Oh yes, how lucky was he to have found a mixed-blood out in the middle of this forest, now he would show the elders how capable he was, more than his overly praised half Nadri of a stepbrother, and now to find this source. He raced away, towards the smell of the mixed blood.
* * * * *
Leticia screamed as the demon's fang sank into her lower arm. Without thinking, she had held up her arm to keep the demon off her when he had leaped for her, sending them both to the ground with it on top of her. She reached for the bottle of asphax tied on her waist and broke it on the demon's head, spilling its contents all over it. The demon shrieked and let go of her arm, doubling back over as the content burned its face and eyes, Leticia took the opportunity and rolled closer to her sword still buried in the neck of the other demon now dead on the floor, and yanked on it with all the strength she could muster from her right arm, it came out. She charged at the demon who still had not gotten over the pain of the burning asphax and severed its head.
Looking around, she saw that every other demon was down on the ground and dead, all eight of them and she had only managed to kill two. She looked at Liam who had a smirk plastered on his face and a demon's head in one hand.
"That was fun!" He exclaimed, throwing the head over his shoulders.
But Leticia was no longer looking at him, instead, she was looking past him. She stood rigid with fear and her eyes widened when she saw the thing that caught the head of the demon which Liam had thrown.
"Indeed, it was fun." It spoke.
Liam turned around and came face to face with the creature. He frowned and took a step back to be closer to Leticia. A Nadri in the open was never good news.
Dan sniffed the air and smiled, throwing the head of the demon to the side, he looked directly at Leticia and his eyes trailed down to her lower arm where the demon had bitten her and she was bleeding from. He inhaled the smell of her blood again just to be extra sure and he smiled. Yes, she was most definitely what he wanted.
"I have come for the mixed blood, renegade."
"There is no mixed blood here, so I suggest you move along, Nadri." Liam stood defensively.
"No mixed blood?" Dan chuckled. "It is either you are trying to protect her or it is that you do not know what she is. So which one is it?"
Liam shifted his head slightly toward Leticia but never took his eyes off the Nadri, with his brows perked. Mixed blood? Her? The human girl he had been with was mixed?
Dan noticed the look on Liam's face, it was a look of uncertainty. "I guess you do not know this Liam." Dan spoke. He was somehow surprised, did the renegade Angel really not know that the human he was with was a mixed-blood? Or was he just pretending not to know so that he could try to protect her from him? Anyhow it was, he was going to leave only when he had the human in his possession.
"But she is a mixed-blood and I can smell her blood from her injury, my nose does not deceive me." He leaned sideways to get a better look at Leticia and added. "By the way, that was a nasty bite. Well then, moving on, I have come this way for her and I shall have her before I leave."
She was going to be his trophy to rub into the faces of those elders who had thought Scott to be higher and more skilled than he was, and he was going to brag about that's most especially to the other dying Archangel and he would very much up his price. Oh, he was going to get all he wanted with just one frail mixed blood in front of him, he just had to get rid of this obstacle. He had to kick Liam to the side then he would be able to have her.
Liam cranked his head towards the Nadri, swinging his sword and flexing his wings, if the revelation of Leticia being a mixed-blood was true, then it just made it even more serious, he had to make sure
that this Nadri does not come close to her, if he needed her this desperately then it was definitely for no good, he was ready to shred the Nadri to pieces if he took any step closer.
"You and what army, Nadri?"